Thursday 28 January 2021

As a result of the clear vote at the ADM to ask the government to overturn their decision to allow neonic treatments on sugar beet crops this year, the BBKA Chair has written to Associations calling on members to approach their MP and make clear their concerns and to sign any of the four petitions below: 

Your ADM representative may have informed you that there was an emergency proposition at the ADM referring to the Derogation being granted for the use of a Neonicotinoid treatment of Sugar Beet seeds to be sown in spring 2021.

The ADM overwhelmingly decided to oppose this use of a pesticide which was banned in all EU countries in 2018.

A letter has already been sent by Margaret Wilson, BBKA President, to the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

If you have not seen the derogation the link is Derogation link

Fact Sheet on Neonicotinoids and Sugar beet, - Why the concern re derogation? Pam Hunter, January 2021

The Trustees on behalf of the Associations are requesting that each member acts in support of the proposition and helps to pressure the Government to withdraw this derogation by

1. Writing to their MP. You can find the contact details for your MP by using the link and entering your post code. Who is my MP? (include your address to show you’re a constituent)

2. Supporting the 4 current active petitions which have been started to oppose the use of this chemical. The BBKA has decided not to start its own petition as there are others which already have substantive support against the use of Neonicotinoids in the UK now and point forward. The petitions are:-  

Greenpeace petition 

Wildlife Trusts petition

Two Individual petitions calling for a ban and seeking a Parliamentary debate Parliament petitions

When writing to your MP it is better if you do not use a form letter. Form letters tend to be less well received. The BBKA believes that the following points need raising with MP’s

1. There is no publicly available data on the application for the derogation.

2. What information there is, does not seem to consider weather effects on the yield of the crop, which is the main reason for the derogation request.

3. The ‘precautions’ to prevent bees from being effected by the Neonicotinoids, is to treat the fields and surrounds with herbicide to prevent flowering of wildflowers which would take up residual Neonicotinoid from the ground. This would appear to be directly in opposition to the stated aims of the new agricultural policy in development. This precaution is reducing the biodiversity of the environment and denies forage not only for bee species but other insects which is bound to effect other species such as birds which feed on insects. The precaution for using the chemical is to use more chemicals?

4. There appears to be no sampling of the soil prior to the sowing of the treated seed nor any in the ‘Precautionary’ period following the harvest of the sugar beet. Therefore, residual Neonicotinoids may still be in the soil after the precautionary period after crop harvest.

5. The use of Neonicotinoids will not be used in future and investment will be made in resistant crops rather than the use of destructive chemicals. Please help the BBKA to support you in protecting your bees from the reintroduction of these provably harmful chemicals.

Anne Rowberry – BBKA Chair, Diane Drinkwater – BBKA Vice-Chair & Richard Bond – BBKA Trustee

Our Chair, Anne Rowberry, has written to the Prime Minister asking him to reverse the decision

Our President, Margaret Wilson, has also sent a letter to the Secretary of State, George Eustice: